Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Who attends church the most?

A new study released by Gallup has found that self-professed church attendance levels by state did not change significantly between 2008 and 2009. Nine of the top 10 states in self-professed church attendance are in the South (the only non-Southern state is Utah). States at the bottom of the church attendance list are in either New England or the West.

Respondents were asked how often they "attend church, synagogue or mosque — at least once a week, almost every week, about once a month, seldom or never." Nationally, 41.6 percent of all Americans in 2009 said they attended either "at least once a week" or "almost every week."

Top 10 States
% Attending weekly or almost every week

Mississippi 63
Alabama 58
S. Carolina 56
Louisiana 56
Utah 56
Tennessee 54
Arkansas 53
N. Carolina 53
Georgia 51
Texas 50

Bottom 11 States
% Attending weekly or almost every week

Vermont 23
New Hampshire 26
Maine 27
Massachusetts 29
Nevada 30
Hawaii 31
Oregon 31
Alaska 31
Washington 32
Rhode Island 32
Connecticut 32

With these statistics in mind, a question I would have is this, Where would Jesus spend his time (which states?) and where would he desire to start a church?

The Voice

A new type of Bible translation, somewhat different. You can download a copy of the gospel of John here


Friday, February 12, 2010

"LOVE AND WAR" a book review

After 30 yrs of marriage one thing my wife and I agree on is that people need to be warned better before tying that knot. Marriage is not what it appears to be on many tv shows, films and in many love novels.
In the book “Love and War” by John and Stasi Eldredge they say that there are 2 things everyone needs to know 1. Marriage is hard 2. Everyone brings their own brokenness into marriage.
Everyone has a lot of baggage that they bring with them into the marriage relationship, thus making marriage the hardest thing most of us will ever go through. The authors also state that most marriages, though we are not honest enough to admit it, are a disappointment.

There are some things we can do to improve our marriage relationships.
1. Beware of our common enemy, satan. Satan will do all he can to disrupt our marriages. The authors suggest that the main way to overcome is by praying-praying together.

2. A shared adventure ( this was the best chapter in the book). We have to have more than just ourselves to live for. The authors say, “…adventure helps to build companionship in a marriage…the highest of all adventures are those where we find ourselves partnering together for a cause.”
Thus when we are joined together for a cause it helps us to

3. Fight off “the little foxes”. Those small things that can spoil our marriage.

4. The authors also have a chapter on sex (though not to helpful). They sum that chapter up to three lines. Pg 175 in the book J

The authors state that the odds of a marriage making it is about 50/50. They say that on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being bad 10 being great most people rate their marriage at about a 3.

A few thoughts regarding the book
1. If there are that many people disappointed in their marriage (and I don’t necessarily disagree) why is it that so many people that are divorce and/or widowed want to get married again?
2. Would stronger pre-marital counseling help in couples decision to marry? Like making it clear that when you get married some of these things you will have to do, weather you like it or not: cook meals, clean house, work at a job, have sex.
3. Too many books on marriage explain the general psyche of the male and female. What about those couples whose make up is the exception eg. Where the wife does not want to sit down and have a conversation about how the day went, but the husband does?

I appreciate the books that are given to me by by WaterBrook Multnomah to review. This book and others may be purchased at http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385529808

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Mission Trips

The Last few years God has really been speaking to me about Matthew 24, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked etc. So back in Sept. I took a short trip to Haiti, more for observation and to see possibly what I could do about offering some humanitarian work/aid. While there I spoke to some pastors at a leadership conference, sponsored by ICDM. God began to deal with me about the need to help the churches and church leaders. This conviction has continued to grow in my heart.
Thus yesterday morning I had breakfast with Tim Hibschman from "Global Partners". We talked, among other things, about taking some short-term mission trips. Not for the purpose of seeing what others are doing, but being able to help the church in other parts of the world...so with that conversation we are tentatively scheduling a trip to Mexico to hold some seminars/meetings with pastors and church leaders. Your prayers would be appreciated.